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Sea of Marmara
 

 

 

 


























Turkish MARMARA DENIZI, historically PROPONTIS, inland sea partly separating the Asiatic and European parts of Turkey. It is connected through the Bosphorus on the northeast with the Black Sea and through the Dardanelles on the southwest with the Aegean Sea. It is 175 miles (280 km) long from northeast to southwest and nearly 50 miles (80 km) wide at its greatest width. Despite its small area, 4,382 square miles (11,350 square km), its average depth is about 1,620 feet (494 m), reaching a maximum of 4,446 feet (1,355 m) in the center. It has no strong currents. Salinity, which averages 22 parts per thousand, is greatest at the end nearest the Dardanelles. The sea was formed as a result of crystal movements that occurred approximately 2,500,000 years ago, in the Late Pliocene Epoch. It is an area of frequent earthquakes.

The sea has two distinct island groups. The first is the Kizil Islands in the northeast near Istanbul; these islands are primarily resort areas. The second group consists of the Marmara islands proper in the southwest, off Kapidagi Peninsula; these have granite, slate, and marble that have been quarried since antiquity hence the sea's name (Greek marmaros, "marble").


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